DC Latching Solenoids

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by minitj789, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. minitj789

    minitj789 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Ok, let me start by saying I'm sorry if this has been addressed several times before. That being said, I've recently started work on a property that uses several battery operated controllers, namely the old irritrol IBOC. I've never worked with these before, and I have a few questions about trouble shooting. I have a few zones stuck open and a few that don't come on at all.

    Normally when I encounter valves that are stuck open, I take the valve apart, replace the diaphragm, and for a few bucks in parts and a few minutes of time, the problem is solved.

    I'm not sure if this will hold with valves with the DC latching solenoids. I know these get a signal to open, and then another to close. Do these solenoids tend to fail in a way where they don't close, or should I still be thinking diaphragm first? Is there anyway to tell with these solenoids if they are opening and closing properly?

    Any general info or trouble shooting suggestions/differences when using these systems would be very much appreciated. Thanks. :drinkup:
  2. Waterlogged

    Waterlogged LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 587

    I would first start with the batteries. I don't know how old the timer is that you are talking about. Do you have two batteries, or one?
    In any event, I would change out the batteries first, if you don't know how old they are.
    How far are your runs to your valves? Sometimes you can unhook the batteries and reprogram the clock.
    The splices on a battery operated timer are very important. You really can't be losing much, if you have long runs, and have the zone still work. You really need to find all the valves. I have seen other contractors put regular solenoids on DC systems. 'Course that won't make the valve stick open.
    If you know what zone is stuck on, go to the controller and turn that zone on and then off. It sometimes takes a few seconds for the valve to respond.
    If the zone doesn't actually get an impulse to turn off, it stays on.
    Happy hunting.
  3. booksmitty

    booksmitty LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    You didn't state type of valve. Foward flow or reverse, ... Weathermatic are reverse flow and WON'T open if junk is in it, most others are foward flow and WON'T close is junk is in them.
  4. slava

    slava LawnSite Member
    from Russia
    Messages: 23

    keep in mind, that DC latching solenoids have no feedback with controller. Sometimes they work in reverse order - when controller turns off, solenoid opens a valve. To make them sync, unscrew solenoid from valve, turn on irrigation in controller, push solenoid plunger inside solenoid and screw it in valve.

    Messages: 18,668

    You guys have a bunch of DC systems?
  6. slava

    slava LawnSite Member
    from Russia
    Messages: 23

    Do not very like them. For systems with more than 2 zones it is b**theart. Have rebuilt one system last summer. It was made with Israel Geva 75 controllers. They do not survive in valve box more than 2-3 years. And there is no way to attach rain sensor to system, only to each controller :dizzy:.

    Another solution where I use DC solenoids is drip irrigation for newly planted trees by my landscape company. Those are adult or semi adult trees. Plants and planting are rather expensive. Drip irrigation give excellent results in this case with very high plant survival rate. It's temporary irrigation system for 1-3 years, but some customers leave it further.
  7. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,202

    Not sure if anyone said it yet but the wiring has to be right..meaning black wire to common and red to field wire..

    Doing it the oppsite will get you stuck open valves so im told.....

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